---2016---

Elmgreen & Dragset to curate 15th Istanbul Biennial

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016. Posted in ---2016---, May

Related Article: Artists from Turkey at Manifesta 11


The 15th Istanbul Biennial, to be held 16 September - 12 November 2017, will be curated by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, who state that their focus will be on “collaborative efforts and processes“ in the context of the present geopolitical situation “experiencing a new rise of nationalism.”

Elmgreen & Dragset (Michael Elmgreen, dr.h.c. and Ingar Dragset, dr.h.c.) are an artist duo who have worked together since 1995. Their artistic practice spans many genres, including installation, sculpture, performance, and theater. Their work has been included in the Istanbul (2013, 2011, 2001), Liverpool (2012), Singapore (2011), Moscow (2011, 2007), Venice (2009, 2003), Gwangju (2006, 2002), São Paulo (2002), and Berlin (1998) biennials. The artists were shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Prize, Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2000 and won the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin in 2002. In 2012, Elmgreen & Dragset were selected for London’s Fourth Plinth Commission in Trafalgar Square. They were awarded honorary doctorates at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in 2015.

The Istanbul Biennial advisory board members include Adriano Pedrosa, Başak Şenova, İnci Eviner, Iwona Blazwick, and Ute Meta Bauer.

The conceptual framework of the 15th Istanbul Biennial will be announced at a press meeting to be held in fall 2016. The media preview of the biennial will be on 13 September, and the professional preview on 14 and 15 September 2017.

Elmgreen & Dragset
Elmgreen & Dragset. Photo: Elmar Vestner

Ergin Cavusoglu & Gülsün Karamustafa at Guggenheim NY

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016. Posted in ---2016---, May

Related Article: Cevdet Erek to represent Turkey at 57th Venice Biennial


Ergin Çavuşoğlu’s 'Crystal & Flame' (2010) and Gülsün Karamustafa’s 'Create your own story with the given material' (1997) have been acquired by the Guggenheim, NY and will be part of the museum’s upcoming exhibition 'But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa'.

The third exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, 'But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa’ (29 April – 5 October 2016), will illuminate contemporary artistic practices in the Middle East and North Africa and the region’s diaspora. Presenting a selection of newly acquired works for the Guggenheim’s permanent collection, this exhibition will feature installations, photographs, sculptures, videos, and works on paper from a broad selection of artists. Following its presentation in New York, the exhibition will travel to Istanbul’s Pera Museum in 2017. The exhibition is curated by Sara Raza, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa.

To date, MAP’s acquisitions program has brought more than 107 works by 85 artists and collectives into the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. More than 7,000 students, teachers, families, and art enthusiasts have participated in over 80 interactive education programs, developed jointly by the Guggenheim and its institutional partners across the world specifically for local audiences. In addition, MAP’s website at guggenheim.org/MAP offers a wealth of content, including videos by artists and curators, artist profiles, blog posts by international curators and critics, and interactive learning tools.

Crystal & Flame, 2010
Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Crystal & Flame, 2010, Four channel synchronized HD video installations, sound, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist, Rampa Istanbul & Guggenheim NY

Ergin Çavuşoğlu (born in Bulgaria, 1968) studied at The National School of Fine Arts “Iliya Petrov”, Sofia in the early 1980s. He consequently received a BA in painting from the University of Marmara, İstanbul, MA from Goldsmiths, University of London, a PhD from University in Portsmouth and his Professorship from Middlesex University. Ergin Çavuşoğlu currently lives and works in London, United Kingdom.

Gülsün Karamustafa, Create your own story, 1997
Gülsün Karamustafa, Create your own story with the given material, 1997
child-sized white cotton shirts, sewn shut with black cord in a meditation on the plight of immigrant children in Turkey. Courtesy the artist, Rampa Istanbul & Guggenheim NY

Born 1946 in Ankara, Turkey Gülsün Karamustafa lives and works in Istanbul and is one of Turkey’s most outspoken and celebrated artists. She has a forty-year oeuvre distinguished by installations, paintings, sculptures, and videos that examine the complexities of gender, globalization, and migration.

Concept of 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial announced

on Wednesday, 16 December 2015. Posted in January, ---2016---

Related Article: Turkey's project for the 15th International Architecture Biennial announced


Curated by Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley, the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial titled 'ARE WE HUMAN? : The Design of the Species : 2 seconds, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years' will run from 22 October to 4 December 2016.

The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial explores the intimate relationship between the concepts of “design” and “human.” Design always presents itself as serving the human but its real ambition is to redesign the human. The history of design is therefore a history of evolving conceptions of the human. To talk about design is to talk about the state of our species. Humans have always been radically reshaped by the designs they produce and the world of design keeps expanding. We live in a time when everything is designed, from our carefully crafted individual looks and online identities, to the surrounding galaxies of personal devices, new materials, interfaces, networks, systems, infrastructures, data, chemicals, organisms, and genetic codes. The average day involves the experience of thousands of layers of design that reach to outer space but also reach deep into our bodies and brains. We literally live inside design, like the spider lives inside the web constructed from inside its own body. But unlike the spider, we have spawned countless overlapping and interacting webs. Even the planet itself has been completely encrusted by design as a geological layer. There is no longer an outside to the world of design. Design has become the world.

Design is the most human thing about us. Design is what makes the human. It is the basis of social life, from the very first artefacts to the exponential expansion of human capability. But design also engineers inequalities and new forms of neglect. More people than ever in history are forcibly displaced by war, lawlessness, poverty, and climate at the same time that the human genome and the weather are being actively redesigned. We can no longer reassure ourselves with the idea of “good design.” Design needs to be redesigned.

3rd Istanbul Design Biennial 2016
Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley at the Press Conference of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial at the Archeological Museum Istanbul, Photo: Muhsin Akgun

ARE WE HUMAN? : The Design of the Species : 2 seconds, 2 years, 200 years, 200,000 years invites a wide arrange of designers and thinkers from around the world to respond to a compact set of eight interlinked propositions:

DESIGN IS ALWAYS DESIGN OF THE HUMAN
THE HUMAN IS THE DESIGNING ANIMAL
OUR SPECIES IS COMPLETELY SUSPENDED IN ENDLESS LAYERS OF DESIGN
DESIGN RADICALLY EXPANDS HUMAN CAPABILITY
DESIGN ROUTINELY CONSTRUCTS RADICAL INEQUALITIES
DESIGN IS EVEN THE DESIGN OF NEGLECT
“GOOD DESIGN” IS AN ANESTHETIC
DESIGN WITHOUT ANESTHETIC ASKS URGENT QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR HUMANITY

These propositions will be explored over the coming year in events, classes, workshops, and online discussions – including open calls for responses to the propositions by short videos. This year of exploration around the world will culminate in a dense program of exhibitions, debates, broadcasts and publications during the six weeks of the Biennial in Istanbul that opens in October 2016. This Biennial is an archaeological project. It is not about celebrating particular designers or about visualizing remarkable futures. It will be a multi-media documentary about the state of design today, when everyday reality has outpaced science fiction. It will place the extreme condition of contemporary design into the context of the extended 200,000 year history of our species – from the first standardized ornaments and the footprints of the first shoes to the latest digital and carbon footprints. A Biennial normally focuses on the last 2 years. The time frame for this exhibition will span from the last 2 seconds to the last 200,000 years. Ancient archaeological artefacts from Turkey and the region will be presented at the heart of the Biennial to reframe the latest real-time thinking about design.

Rather than a singular design branding, a number of young Turkish graphic designers – Pemra Ataç, Yetkin Başarır, Özge Güven, Okay Karadayılar, and Sarp Sözdinler – will work on different dimensions of the biennial, from the streets to the publications, to the exhibition, and to the online activities. The multiplicity of visual identities will be treated as an integral part of the reflection on design rather than simply packaging or communication. Likewise, the exhibition architecture by Andrés Jaque and the Office for Political Innovation particularly (Roberto Gonzalez Garcia, Laura Mora, Federico Landi) will act as clusters of interactive clouds for reflection and discussion. Evangelos Kotsioris is the Assistant Curator of the project and the online dimensions are being directed by Iván López Munuera.

The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial exhibitions will be held in Galata Greek Primary School, DEPO and Studio-X. The details of the biennial’s events programme will be announced later in 2016.

Turkey at the 1st London Design Biennial

on Tuesday, 03 May 2016. Posted in ---2016---, September

Related Article: Contemporary Artists from Turkey in the Imago Mundi - Luciano Benetton Collection


Turkey’s contribution to the first ever London Design Biennial was on view at Somerset house from 7 to 27 September 2016. The inaugural London Design Biennale featured projects from over thirty countries, which were called to respond to the theme of ‘Utopia by Design,’ celebrating the 500th anniversary of the publication of Sir Thomas More’s classic, Utopia (1516).

Coordinated by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), Turkey’s contribution to the biennale presented ‘The Wish Machine'. Autoban’s installation takes direct inspiration from the ‘wish-tree’, a cultural tradition deeply rooted in the ancient Anatolian faith and found in ancient Greek, Kabala and Persian believes. Its origins can be tracked back to the Neolithic. It operates on a simple mechanism that involves affixing a note or a memento to a branch of a tree as an act of hope born out of hopelessness. In this act, the tree becomes a place of last resort for one’s hopes and wishes, which are pinned on universal powers, in the hope that they can change the supplicant’s fate. ‘The Wish Machine’ takes this multi-cultural tradition as the key insight into how design and utopia can cooperate.

The installation that was installed in the West Wing G1A at Somerset House was an interactive pneumatic system operating in a mirrored space. Visitors were invited to walk through a tunnel that was made of transparent hexagonal tubes. They could share their hopes and wishes, vision of utopias, and aspiration for the future, by writing them on paper, and feeding them to the Wish Machine through a lid at the dead end. Notes then travelled back through the tubes to a place out of visitors’ sight, as if their destination is a place unknown. Just like throwing coins to the depths of a lake or lighting a candle to make a wish come true, the final destination being addressed remained a mystery.

Autoban's Project
Autoban's Project 'Wish Machine' for the 1st London Design Biennial in 2016. Photo: Courtesy Autoban and IKSV

In forming ‘The Wish Machine,’ Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar, the founders of Autoban, were motivated by the utopian idea of detaching from all known parameters belonging to the past and the present to dream for a better future. This positively provocative approach to suggest solutions for humanity and the act of dreaming was their biggest inspiration, reflected in their own field of design. The biggest problem they identified in today’s world is the inability to express an idea or a dream about a more positive future, without constantly having to struggle with the chaos of the present.

Having realised that preceding systems that were designed to create a ‘perfect’ order from chaos and diversity have eventually failed, the designers embraced the endless journey both as a method and form. Utopia was an inspirational resource for the idea of ‘being triggered for searching.’ Throughout their journey, Utopia was a reference point that inspired them to create constructive thinking and keep the essence of hope.

Autoban has worked in an interdisciplinary and collective setting with different expertise, to make a real, interactive, and perfectly working mechanical system, custom designed for the biennial space. In their design approach for the London Design Biennale, the company has looked into possibilities to express familiar traditions in new representations, and to build a century-long, well-known system with a surprising new form and function.

Ahmet Ögüt
Press Conference for Turkey's project for the 1st London Design Biennial in 2016. Photo: Mahmut Ceylan, Courtesy IKSV

Contemporary Artists from Turkey in the Imago Mundi - Luciano Benetton Collection

on Wednesday, 10 August 2016. Posted in ---2016---, August

Related Article: Work by Burçak Bingöl enters permanent Collection of the Met in New York


istanbul codex imago mundi
Istanbul Codex, imago mundi collection

227 works by artists from Turkey have recently been included in the ‚Istanbul Codex. Contemporary Artists from Turkey’ part of the Imago Mundi Collection , a cultural, democratic, global, non-profit project, promoted by Luciano Benetton with the aim of creating the widest possible mapping of the different contemporary artistic experiences of our world. In Imago Mundi, each country is represented by the works of established artists and new talents, commissioned with the maximum freedom of expression, whose only constraint is the 10x12 cm format.

The collection is accompanied by a publication of the same title with texts by Luciano Benetton, Claudio Scorretti, Irina Ungureanu, Lora Sarıaslan.

istanbul codex imago mundi
Istanbul Codex, imago mundi collection

Güneş Terkol, Looking for Each Other
Güneş Terkol, Looking for Each Other, 2015, imago mundi collection

Gamze Taşdan, Orhan
Gamze Taşdan, Orhan, 2015, imago mundi collection

Güneş Terkol, Looking for Each Other
Kürşat Bayhan, Waterbottles, 2015, imago mundi collection

Work by Burçak Bingöl enters permanent Collection of the Met in New York

on Wednesday, 10 August 2016. Posted in ---2016---, August

Related Article: CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS FROM TURKEY IN THE IMAGO MUNDI - LUCIANO BENETTON COLLECTION


Burçak Bingöl’s work ‚Broken II’ (2013) is now part of the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum New York. The piece is part of a series in which the artist questions Turkish society and heritage, meshes its cultural and personal stories, deconstructs familiar everyday items then casts them in richly-decorated ceramic artwork. Objects such as plain white bottles and tiles are cast and/or decorated in resonance with the traditions of the pre-modern Near East (Seljuq, Ottoman and Safavid). Sometimes they are dashed on the floor – a violent act captured by the artist in a short video installation – and a selection of the shards are then reassembled and decorated. In "Broken II" irregularly broken ceramic pieces have been perpendicularly reassembled in a three-dimensional square panel. Utilizing the medium of floral-decorated stonepaste, this work connects to the traditional ceramics and the colorful, decorative patterns created throughout the centuries in the Islamic world. The prominence given to roses relates especially to the Ottoman period and Iznik ceramics more specifically, wherein this flower appears prominently alongside tulips, hyacinths and carnations, all of which are rendered in a stylized, rather than naturalistic, manner of those in "Broken II." This method of deconstructing a traditional Turkish art form or medium – then reassembling it into a contemporary object calls both to the artistic Ottoman and Islamic heritage and questions the idea of "what is art?" – Bingöl’s counter to Marcel Duchamp’s concept of "ready-made art."

Burçak Bingöl, Broken II
Burçak Bingöl, Broken II, 2013, The Metropolitan Museum New York

The artist’s practice is an interrogation of belonging, culture, identity, decoration and failure by blurring the boundaries between these seemingly distinct notions. They are psychological landscapes that hover between abstraction and representation, seduction and repulsion, adoption and preservation that both embrace and disregard Eastern and Western traditions. They are not only both questioning and expanding the Western canon but also inviting the viewer to a re-consideraton of the distinction between art vs. Craft and high vs. Low. Working with sculptures, drawings, video, photography and installation, her work is a constant investigation of materials and objects where the repetitive act is formulated by merging fiction and failure. Burçak Bingöl’s sixth solo exhibiton Mythos & Utopia will take place at Zilberman Gallery Istanbul between February and April 2017.

Turkey at the 15th International Architecture Biennial

on Monday, 29 August 2016. Posted in ---2016---, August

Related Article: 5th International Çanakkale Biennial Announces Line-Up of Artists


The Pavilion of Turkey at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (28 May-27 November 2016) features the project Darzanà. Curated by Feride Çiçekoğlu, Mehmet Kütükçüoğlu and Ertuğ Uçar, with curatorial collaborators Cemal Emden and Namık Erkal, the exhibition team of Darzanà consists of Hüner Aldemir, Caner Bilgin, Hande Ciğerli, Gökçen Erkılıç, Nazlı Tümerdem and Yiğit Yalgın. The Pavilion of Turkey, coordinated by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) and co-sponsored by Schüco Turkey and VitrA, is located at the Sale d’Armi, Arsenale.

Darzana, Pavilion of Turkey 15th Architecture Biennial in Venice 2016
Darzanà, Pavilion of Turkey, 15th Architecture Biennial in Venice 2016, Photo: Cemal Emden

Darzanà is a project about frontier infringement and on hybridity. It challenges the increasing confinement within borders of religion, language, race, nationality, ethnicity and gender. The project highlights the common cultural and architectural heritage shared between the arsenals of Istanbul and Venice. For the Biennale Architettura 2016, a last vessel, Baştarda, has been constructed out of abandoned materials found in the old dockyard of Istanbul and transported to Venice to suggest a new connection in Mediterranean.

Darzanà: Two Arsenals, One Vessel

The project title Darzanà means dockyard and it is a hybrid word, like the Turkish word tersane and the Italian word arsenale. These words are derived or distorted from the same root, the Arabic dara’s-sina’a (place of industry). They all originate from the common language that developed in the Mediterranean from the 11th to the 19th century among people such as sailors, travellers, merchants, and warriors. Known as Lingua Franca, this was a shared language when Mediterranean was the main vessel connecting the surrounding cultures. In the same vein, it is possible to talk of a common architectural language and to define it as Architectura Franca.

Despite their very different identities and populations today, Venice and Istanbul once both featured considerable dockyards of similar sizes and production. The common core of these dockyards was the shipsheds called “volti” in Italian and “göz” in Turkish. The shipshed is the building block of a shared architectural heritage; its proportions grow out of the dimensions of boats and of common building technologies. Darzanà links a shipshed of İstanbul with a shipshed of Venice by a vessel. For the project Darzanà, a last vessel, Baştarda was built earlier this year at an abandoned shipshed at the Haliç dockyards in Istanbul.

Similar to Darzanà, Baştarda is also a hybrid word. Derived from bastardo, Baştarda is a cross between a galley and a galleon and is propelled by oars and sails. As a symbol of Mediterranean hybridity, Baştarda creates a bridge between the two shipyards, one left to rot away in the megacity of Istanbul, the other springing to life only at certain times of the year in the museum-city that is Venice.

In Istanbul, Baştarda was constructed beneath a reproduction of the wooden trusses of the hall in Sale d’Armi of Venice shipyard that hosts the Pavilion of Turkey. Measuring 30 metres long and weighing four tons, the vessel was built from more than 500 pieces including seven kilometres of steel cable and abandoned materials found on site including wooden moulds, discarded furniture, signboards and boats. In April, the components were shipped to Sale d’Armi, where Baştarda was re-constructed in May for the Pavilion of Turkey. When La Biennale closes in November 2016, Baştarda will continue her journey and she will eventually become the centrepiece of a museum of arsenal, when the site is opened to public in Istanbul.

Darzanà’s main theme raises the question of whether it is possible to transform borders, fronts and other spaces of conflict into thresholds and spaces of consensus. In this vein, Baştarda becomes a vessel of frontier infringement. She came to Venice, and she will eventually go back to Istanbul, travelling back and forth, just as the languages, the architectural forms, and people of the Mediterranean, have done throughout history. Reporting from Darzanà, one can announce the futility of demarcations on the seas and in between the words.

For more information: www.iksv.org / pavilionofturkey.iksv.org

Darzana, Pavilion of Turkey 15th Architecture Biennial in Venice 2016
Darzanà, Pavilion of Turkey, 15th Architecture Biennial in Venice 2016, Photo: Cemal Emden

Aslı Çavuşoğlu’s Red/Red joins MoMA Collection

on Wednesday, 12 October 2016. Posted in ---2016---, October

Related Article: Istanbul Dealers launch Gallery Weekend


istanbul codex imago mundi
Installation view of Aslı Çavuşoğlu’s Red/Red at the 14th Istanbul Biennale, 2015. Photo: Sahir Uğur Eren

Pieces from Aslı Çavuşoğlu’s installation Red/Red (2015), which was made for the 14th Istanbul Biennial, are included in the permanent collection of MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art in New York. The work comprises a series of patterns that the artist drew on worn-out papers and handmade notebooks with an inspiration from Armenian miniatures, and by using a specific red pigment traditionally made from an insect known as the Ararat cochineal and found around the Aras River. The pigment’s extraction technique remains largely in oblivion, known only by a few masters. The whole work was previously on display at Mathaf - Arab Museum of Modern Art for the second time after the biennial, on the occasion of its inclusion into the museum’s collection. Four patterns from the same series that were not exhibited in the biennial will be permanently on view at MoMA.

istanbul codex imago mundi
Installation view of Aslı Çavuşoğlu’s Red/Red at the 14th Istanbul Biennale, 2015. Photo: Sahir Uğur Eren

Cevdet Erek to represent Turkey at 57th Venice Biennial

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016. Posted in ---2016---, May

Related Article: Elmgreen&Dragset to Curate 15th Istanbul Biennial


A project by artist Cevdet Erek will be presented at the 57th Venice Biennial’s Pavilion of Turkey from 13 May - 26 November 2017.

Cevdet Erek’s installations and performances that focus on sound, space and rhythm were shown in dOCUMENTA (13) (2012), Istanbul Biennial (2003, 2013 and 2015), Sydney Biennial (2016), Sharjah Biennial (2013), Stedelijk Museum (2014), MAXXI (2014 and 2015), Istanbul Modern (2014, 2015 and 2016), Arter (2011), SALT (2012 and 2015) among others. Major solo exhibitions of his work were organised by Spike Island in Bristol (2014) and Kunsthalle Basel (2012). His published books are SSS – Shore Scene Soundtrack (2008, BAS), Room of Rhythms 1 (2012, Walther König) and Less Empty Maybe (2015, Revolver/Artist). His SSS – Shore Scene Soundtrack was the recipient of Nam June Paik Award given by Kunststiftung NRW (2012).

Cevdet Erek studied Architecture at Mimar Sinan University. He has been a member of the music band Nekropsi. He received his graduate degree in Sound Engineering & Design from Istanbul Technical University - MIAM (Center for Advanced Studies in Music). He was an artist in residence at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in 2005-2006. He currently lives in Istanbul and continues to work at Istanbul Technical University.

The Advisory Board consists of artist Ali Kazma, curator at Arter, Başak Doğa Temür; Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Culture and Art Enterprises General Manager Özalp Birol, curator and Art Advisor at Istanbul Modern Museum Paolo Colombo, and Prof. Dr. Zeynep İnankur from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Western and Contemporary Art.

Cevdet Erek
Cevdet Erek

Galleries from Turkey at viennacontemporary 2016

on Wednesday, 10 August 2016. Posted in ---2016---, August

Related Article: Turkey's Concept for London Design Biennial Revealed


Turkish galleries Galeri Zilberman and SANATORIUM are going to be present at this year’s edition of viennacontemporary taking place from 22-25 September. Sanatorium will bring works by Sevil Tunaboylu, Erol Eskici and Yağız Özgen, while Zilberman Gallery will participating with Alpin Arda Bağcık, Guido Casaretto, Antonio Cosentino, Ahmet Elhan, Walid Siti and Eşref Yıldırım.

Walid Siti, Deconstructed Pyramid I, 2013
Walid Siti, Deconstructed Pyramid I, 2013, straw, wood and acrylic on MDF, 59x59x37 cm. Zilberman Gallery Istanbul/Berlin

Following the success of the first edition of viennacontemporary in 2015 in the spectacular ambience of the Marx Halle, the largest art fair in the region will once again convene more than 100 Austrian, Eastern European, and international galleries in a showcase of emerging and established contemporary art. The presence of important international collectors and the continuously growing reputation of viennacontemporary have encouraged many galleries to participate in Vienna’s art fair once again in 2016. Moreover, new young and exciting galleries from Austria, the focus regions, and the Western hemisphere have also chosen to join the fair.

Eşref Yıldırım, Nezihe Muhiddin, 2014
Eşref Yıldırım, Nezihe Muhiddin, 2014, mixed media on canvas, 194x148 cm. Zilberman Gallery Istanbul/Berlin

Under the artistic direction of Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt and executive management of Renger van den Heuvel, viennacontemporary stands for continuity and a high-caliber exhibition program. More and more art collectors and experts are making their way to Vienna, which has established itself – not least thanks to the success of viennacontemporary – as an international marketplace for contemporary art in both the domestic and international art scenes.

Following the focus countries of the past years– Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus (2012), Georgia and Poland (2013), Azerbaijan (2014), and Bulgaria (2015), this year’s showcase explores a region in Southeastern Europe: ex-Yugoslavia and Albania. Focus: Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania is curated by the Albanian curator and writer Adela Demetja.


Walid Siti, Deconstructed Pyramid I, 2013
Yağız Özgen, Water Lilies (284 Stripes), 2016, acrylic on canvas, 180x142cm. Sanatorium Gallery Istanbul. Photo: CHROMA

Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin’s works on view at MoMA

on Wednesday, 23 December 2015. Posted in January, ---2016---

Related Article: Nilbar Güres receives Belvedere Contemporary Art Award 2015


Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin’s works 'Pension Cadiz', 'Hotel Bristol' and 'Hotel Estambul', all from the H-Fact: Hospitality/Hostility series (2003-07) are currently on view at the 'Scenes for a New Heritage' collection exhibition at MoMA in New York until 10 April 2016.

Alptekin’s work ‚Hospitality/Hostility’ refers to hotel signs, which reappear in Alptekin’s works in various media over the course of his career. The artist started taking photographs of hotel signs in Istanbul, which showed names of international places such as Bristol, Cadiz, Berlin, Dallas or Padova in the 1980s. The artist was fascinated by the aesthetics of the side-streets rather than the grand boulevards. The project grew over the following decades with international travels, eventually turning into plexi hotel sign installations. These signs tell the story of Alptekin’s encounters and travels and relate to ideas of nomadism, relocation as well as memories and longing of certain places.

‚Scenes for a New Heritage’ is the new reinstallation of MoMA’s Contemporary Galleries. This cross-medium selection of works, created in the past three decades by more than 30 international artists, represents a wide range of approaches to the political, social, and cultural flux that have shaped the current global landscape. Some of these artists use the lens of history—reflecting on past events or centuries-old artistic traditions—as a means of assessing current conditions. In 'Scene for a New Heritage', the project that lends the exhibition its title, Croatian artist David Maljković uses an abandoned socialist monument to imagine an alternate future, one informed by events of the past but never realized. Other artists fight to stave off collective amnesia through projects of commemoration; trace the crosscurrents of trade; follow patterns of migration to swelling urban centers; or explore channels for capturing, circulating, and distributing images in today’s highly digitized society—from mobile phones to online platforms. Made under a diverse range of geographic, political, social, and aesthetic circumstances, the works in the exhibition propose one perspective on the Museum’s collection; seen alongside one another, they allow for a reflection not only on their discrepancies, differences, and contradictions, but also on their shared concerns.

Artist, writer, lecturer and curator Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin (b.1957, Ankara d. 2007, Istanbul) studied Aesthetics, Philosophy of Art and Sociology in Ankara and Paris. He then worked as a photographer for SIPA Press and wrote for various publications as an art and design critic in addition to lecturing at Ankara Bilkent University and İstanbul Bilgi University. Starting in the early 1990s, Alptekin focused on art practice guided by travel, personal histories and archives that explored the effects of globalization, immigration, exile, cross cultural image circulation and anonymous production. His diverse body of work – consisting of photo installations, collages, videos, objects and, once, a life-size truck overloaded with colorful plastic soccer balls – represents a multi-layered, complex visual language. From 2000-2004 Alptekin ran a non-profit artists’ collective called ‘Sea Elephant Travel Agency’ (SETA).Inspired by Jules Verne’s novel Kéraban-le-Têtu, he gathered artists, curators, musicians, architects, historians and scientists to board a boat that sailed from Istanbul to various ports around the Black Sea, following the route of the novel’s protagonist. The online version of SETA, launched by InEnArt and SALT Research in memory of Alptekin in the Spring of 2013, invites artists and art professionals to participate in an ongoing visual and performing arts laboratory that aims to transcend labels and borders.

Huseyin Bahri Alptekin H-Fact: Hospitality/Hostility, 2003-07
Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, H-Fact: Hospitality/Hostility series, 2003-07, light boxes, dimensions variable Courtesy the estate of the artist, Galerie Martin Janda and Rampa

Turkey's project for the 15th International Architecture Biennial announced

on Sunday, 10 January 2016. Posted in January, ---2016---

Related Article: Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin’s works on view at MoMA in New York


Following an open-call and a two-stage evaluation, the selection committee has determined the project that will be exhibited at the Pavilion of Turkey at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia taking place from 28 May - 27 November, 2016. Led by Mehmet Kütükçüoğlu, Ertuğ Uçar, and Feride Çiçekoğlu with the support of Namık Erkal and Cemal Emden, and created by the team composed of Hüner Aldemir, Hande Ciğerli, Gökçen Erkılıç, Nazlı Tümerdem and Yiğit Yalgın, the project this year’s Pavilion of Turkey has the title ‚Darzanà’.

Inspired by the Mediterranean’s former twin harbours of Venice and Istanbul, the project’s title, the word Darzanà, describes an inlet used for building ships in Ancient Greek, Latin, Jewish, Arabic, and Turkish cultures. The project aims to confront the Arsenale and the historic Istanbul shipyards at the biennial, carrying the Istanbul dock and its accompanying historic associations, exchanges, discussions, similarities, and visions of the future to a shipyard in Venice.

The Pavilion of Turkey exhibition is coordinated by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, and realised under the co-sponsorship of Schüco Turkey and VitrA, and the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey.

The Pavilion of Turkey opened at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia in 2014 for the first time, upon a 20-year allotment of the Arsenale with İKSV’s initiation and the contribution of 21 supporters.

Darzana, Pavilion of Turkey 15th Architecture Biennial in Venice 2016
Darzanà, Pavilion of Turkey, 15th Architecture Biennial in Venice 2016, Photo: IKSV

Istanbul Galleries at Art Dubai 2016

on Saturday, 09 January 2016. Posted in January, ---2016---

Related Article: Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin's works on view at MoMA New York


The 2016 edition of Art Dubai, running from 16 – 19 March will host 5 galleries from Istanbul such as Zilberman, Rampa, Sanatorium, x-ist and Krampf Gallery.

Galeri Zilberman will exhibit Alpin Arda Bağcık, Extrastruggle and Walid Siti at the fair, while Sanatorium will have a solo exhibition of Ahmet Doğu İpek. Rampa brings major artists from Turkey such as Ahmet Oran, Selma Gürbüz Nevin Aladağ and Gülsün Karamustafa to Dubai and x-ist will show Murat Palta and Emin Mete Erdoğan. Krampf Gallery presents a solo show of Yassine Mekhnache.

Nevin Aladag

PATTERN MATCHING (PEPPER-SALT), 2012 Carpet collage 192 x 112 cm, 75.59 x 44.09 inches Courtesy the Artist and Rampa Istanbul at Art Dubai

Extrastruggle
Extrastruggle, Second Sight, 2013, Brass and car paint on polyester, 27x27x52 cm, Ed. 3+1 A.P. Zilberman Istanbul at Art Dubai

Ahmet Doğu İpek
Ahmet Doğu İpek, Sanatorium Istanbul at Art Dubai

Murat Palta
Murat Palta, Kill Bill, monoprint on fine art paper, 60 x 85 cm, 2012, x-ist Istanbul at Art Dubai

New Art Space 'Alt' Launches in Istanbul

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016. Posted in ---2016---, March

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Alt ('below' in Turkish) art space opened in January 2016 on the premises of the historic Bomonti Beer Factory in Istanbul's Şişli district. Established by Pozitif and the Doguş Group, the new space is launching with the first solo exhibition of Rodney Graham in Turkey and a group exhibition titled 'If you can't go through the door, go through the window' with works by Aykan Safoğlu, Hasan Özgür Top and Hera Büyüktaşçıyan. Curated by Mari Spritito, the inaugural season of Alt will focus on contemporary issues of authorship.

Alt art space presents Rodney Graham, the first solo exhibition of his seminal video and music in Turkey. Four of Graham's works, three of which comprise his trilogy: Vexation Island, 1997; How I Became a Ramblin' Man, 1999; and City Self/Country Self, 2000, as well as A Reverie Interrupted by the Police, 2003, will be on view for Alt's inaugural season dedicated to examining issues of authorship in art.

Rodney Graham, Vexation Island, 1997
Exhibition view of Rodney Graham exhibition at Alt Istanbul, Courtesy of the artist and Alt. Photo: Batu Tezyüksel

Alt art space presents 'If you can't go through the door, go through the window', an exhibition that celebrates ingenuity, and the complex ways individuals negotiate the established order in order to participate in society. Featuring works by Aykan Safoğlu, Hasan Özgür Top, and Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, If you can't go through the door, go through the window will be on view for Alt's inaugural season, which is dedicated to examining issues of authorship in art.

In the two-channel video installation Untitled (Gülşen & Hüseyin), 2015, Aykan Safoğlu traces the life story of his uncle Hüseyin, who immigrated to Germany to join the growing workforce of Turkish workers there in the early 1960s. On one screen, Safoğlu is seen directing his friend Gülşen Aktaş to pose as his uncle, in a recreation of an early photograph. Gülşen, who lives in Berlin, is prompted by the artist to participate in an exercise designed to elicit empathy for the character she is playing. The Turkish-born artist, who also lives in Germany, is looking for insight. The second screen tells of the ups and downs of Hüseyin's life as a cleaning person, in the form of scrawled statements and drawings on a bathroom wall. The intimacy of the juxtaposed storytelling modes relates to Safoğlu's own search for alternative modes of survival to meet the challenges of maintaining his identity in the face of dislocation and sexual bias.

Aykan Safoğlu, Untitled (Gülşen & Hüseyin), 2015
Aykan Safoğlu, Untitled (Gülşen & Hüseyin), 2015, Courtesy of the artist and Alt

Hasan Özgür Top's installation A Gift from the Middle East, 2013, is composed of ceramic tiles patterned in the style of Islamic chinaware, but picturing violent images of the Syrian civil war. Top has repurposed disturbing images from Youtube—in particular, of the destruction of the Great Mosque of Aleppo—in a way that is intended to bring sensitivity to the subject, and to reverse the "numbness" of oversaturation. A Gift from the Middle East is part of a larger project by the artist: his proposed restoration of the Aleppo Mosque using these memorial tiles as a gesture of rebuilding that also acknowledges wounds that may never heal.

Hasan Özgür Top, A Gift from the Middle East, 2013
Hasan Özgür Top, A Gift from the Middle East, 2013, Courtesy of the artist and Alt

In Hera Büyüktaşçıyan's sculptural intervention When things find their own cleft, 2016, red bricks spill out from a break in the white-cube exhibition space, evidencing the historical materials of the former factory building. The work is a fluid resurfacing of hidden histories—urban, social, individual, and political—resisting oppression simply in continuing to exist. It offers a metaphor for finding solutions, taking its name from the Turkish proverb "Water found its cleft," which refers to how water flows under, over, and around obstacles on its way to the sea. When things find their own cleft reminds us that we too are living through renovations, and that being present is a resourceful response to the hurdles of contemporary culture.

Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, When things find their own cleft, 2016
Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, When things find their own cleft, 2016, Courtesy of the artist and Alt

Gülsün Karamustafa at Hamburger Bahnhof

on Tuesday, 22 March 2016. Posted in ---2016---, March

Related Article: New Art Space 'Alt' Launches in Istanbul


From 10 June - 23 October 2016, Berlin's Hamburger Bahnhof will house a comprehensive solo exhibition of Gülsün Karamustafa's titled 'Chronographia'. Regarded as one of Turkey's most important artists of the 20th century, Karamustafa has been included in many international group exhibitions; 'Chronographia' will be her first extensive solo exhibition in a museum setting outside of Turkey to date.

Gülsün Karamustafa (b. 1946) is regarded as one of the most important artists of the second half of the 20th century in Turkey, where her work has been a decisive influence on younger generations of Turkish artists since the 1990s. Internationally her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions.

Karamustafa's oeuvre stretches from the middle of the 1970s to the present day and encompasses various media, including painting, installation, performance art and video. In terms of content, the main emphasis of her work lies on questions of migration, politically-induced nomadism, pop culture, feminism and gender, and critical analysis of the Western view on Middle-Eastern countries. While the media-specificity and materiality of her work since the 1970s have seen an evolutionary development in art-historical terms, the same themes permeate all phases and forms of her creative output and are of unmistakable relevance to current debates. The exhibition in the Hamburger Bahnhof, including about 100 works, is designed to make these ramifications and cross-connections visible by showing the works not in chronological order, but in a thematic arrangement which brings them into dialogue with each other.

A catalogue accompanying the exhibition will be published by Verlag für Moderne Kunst.

Gülsün Karamustafa, Trellis of My Mind (Detail), 1998
Gülsün Karamustafa, Trellis of My Mind (Detail), 1998, Courtesy the artist and Rampa

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